I woke up hunched over with my head resting on my desk in front of my computer at 1:30am. Where am I? What happened?
I’d fallen asleep while trying to come up with a new post that I’d promised myself I’d have written by the end of the night. Turns out I didn’t even get a single word down. I hated that feeling. Since then I’ve found better ways to come up with ideas than just sitting there in silence.
Here’s a list of my favorite ways to keep blog post ideas in the chamber.
Taking notes has to be the simplest way to come up with ideas. Think about how many times you’ve had a great idea while you’re munching on a nice slice of pizza or right before you fall asleep in bed? Then you try to think of it later and it’s gone! The worst!
All you have to do to stop this from happening is starting taking notes. It’s helped me tremendously and I’m sure it’ll help you too.
I know most people won’t want to carry a notepad and pen around with them in their fancy fanny packs. You don’t have to. Use your damn phone. If it’s not in your hands browsing Facebook, it’s most likely in your pocket or purse. Pull that sombitch out and either jot your idea down in a note app or open the voice record and record a quick snippet to go back to.
Make an effort to do this for a week and I promise you that your phone will be flooded with great ideas to write about.
Ideas are all around you. On TV, in books, or other peoples’ blogs. Make sure you’re staying immersed in the media surrounding your niche.
Now, I’m not saying to run around the internet and copy other people’s work. I’m saying you should be actively consuming information in your niche. The more you read and learn the more ideas you’ll have for yourself. You’re sort of like a sponge. If you’re not soaking up water, you’ll have no water dripping from you when you’re squeezed. Great analogy right there!!
Make sure you don’t find yourself in a little bubble of your own. Branch out and always be learning. The more you experience the more ideas you’ll have.
REVIEW OLD POSTS
This is something most bloggers overlook but it’s so dead-simple. Everyone should be doing this. Full disclosure: I need to do this more myself.
Looking at your old posts and finding ways to revise and reuse them. This can be done many different ways.
Maybe you wrote a post a year ago and have learned more about the subject since then. You could rewrite the post as an “updated version”. Maybe you spoke previously about “5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear Of Clowns”. Now you have 8 ways. You could write another post including all 8 or even a totally new post called “3 More Ways To Overcome Your Ridiculous Fear Of Clowns”.
Another thing you can do is rewrite a post from a different angle or point of view. A lot of times you can shed a different light on the same subject. It works really well in certain situations.
A PERSONAL OR UPDATE POST
Just write a post about you or an update about your brand/business. These are great to sprinkle into the mix when you’re having a mental block.
I love these because they’re generally easy to write and readers love them. It’s almost like a behind the scenes look at you or your business. People are genuinely interested in this stuff.
Talk about something that’s going on with you right now. Or a new product/service you’re working on in your business. Be creative here. There’s so much to talk about. Don’t be afraid to share.
SOCIAL MEDIA, BABY!
I use this method ALL THE TIME. It’s so simple and is a great way to come up with ideas you already know your audience will like.
You most likely spend quite a bit of time cruising your favorite social media channels. Why not use this to your advantage?
While you’re creeping people on Facebook, getting in Twitter wars or whatever else you do on social media, you should start to pay attention to what people are really saying. You’re most likely part of groups in your niche. Watch for common questions and threads. People tend to ask the same things over and over. This is perfect for blog post ideas because you know it’s something your audience really wants. Also, as a bonus, once you’re done the post you can go back to the threads where you got the idea and link back to your post. Sneaky, but amazing!
Another way to use social media for blog post ideas is to ask questions yourself. Your questions don’t have to be anything crazy. They can be simple, like, “Hey, what are you struggling with right now in…”. You can be the one to start the conversation, then sit back and see what ideas are served up to you on a silver platter.
A little tip that has helped me is to take notes of questions. I’ll put together a list of all the relevant questions I see. This way you can start to see patterns. You’ll get an idea of what might be the most popular posts. Start with the ones that look the most promising and work backward from there.
I try to spend an hour or so a week doing this and it’s helped me build up a huge archive of future blog post ideas.
BUILD YOUR OWN RABBIT HOLE
This one is my favorite!
What do I mean by “build a rabbit hole”? It’s simple. Take older posts you’ve made and find ways to branch off from them. For example, let’s say you have a post called “The 4 Best Ways to Grow Your Own Food”. In that post, you briefly explain each of the 4 methods. Now what you can do is take each method and create a new post that goes into more detail.
This is great because it not only gives you tons more ideas but also helps with your SEO and keeping readers engaged with your content.
It helps SEO by using internal links back and forth between articles. Your main article would have links out to the more detailed posts and each of those would link back to the main one. This is very helpful in getting your blog to come up higher in the search engines.
Also, having your articles link to others helps keep your readers on your site. This is key to building a strong relationship with your audience.
The easiest way to do this is to go have a look at a list of your current posts. Anything that includes a list or has an opportunity for expansion is a perfect candidate for a new post. You’ll be surprised at how many new ideas you can come up with in 15 minutes of going through old posts. Go do it now!
My last tip for you is just to make a habit of writing each and every day. Don’t worry about what to write. You don’t need to have a plan. Just start writing. It could be anything. It doesn’t have to be a blog post. It just needs to be words.
I like doing this because as you start to write you start to get ideas. Think of your brain for a second. You have a thought, then it leads to something. Shortly after you’re at something completely different from when you started.
If you just start to write, this same thing will happen. All of a sudden you’ll be writing an amazing blog post. Trust me! It works!
So that does it. You’ve got a handful of tools to help you come up with great blog post ideas. Now go get after it!
What are your favorite ways to come up with your own ideas? Share them below.